Justice League is the latest and possibly most important film in the DCEU to date, directed by Zack Snyder and in part Joss Whedon, Batman and Wonder Woman hope to put together a team of other meta-humans in order to stop the invading Steppenwolf before he can change the Earth forever. The film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams and Diane Lane.
Much has already been said about Justice League as you know and much of the conversation has been a mixed bag with some controversy thrown in over the state of the DCEU but I’ll say it right off the bat, Justice League is okay, it’s not terrible and it’s far from the worst of the worst in the comic book film pantheon.
Okay maybe it’s not the best to start off with saying a film isn’t terrible but honestly, if the film is guilty of anything, it’s maybe guilty of trying to hard to please everybody and ultimately falling a bit flat in its execution due to a pretty generic plot and another by the numbers CG villain that has drawn a lot of flak for the film. Steppenwolf is the last generic single minded villain in just about every big comic book film for the last 5 years (including Marvel) so he doesn’t really stand out but he was a low point, with some questionable CGI at that, Cyborgs’ appearance was also a bit iffy at times but Ray Fishers performance saved the character.
And the performances saved the film in essence, with great interaction between the characters that so many of us have grown up idolising and watching on TV or reading about in comic book films, the DC nerd in me was delighted to see them all united on screen, even if this wasn’t the idyllic outing fans have wanted for decades. And in particular, Ben Affleck is great again as Batman, seemingly in his last role as the caped crusader, I’d love to see him bow out in a solo film but we’ll have to wait and see on that one, Gal Gadot again is a highlight as Wonder Woman and Ezra Miller is the surprising but endearing comic relief for the film, with some clear Whedon-esque one liners.
It’s great to see the league in action and fighting together with their unique abilities though you do get a feeling that the action feels a bit repetitive and the stakes never really feel that high, resulting in a “we need to save the world from a generic villain” kind of deal that comes out but you know they will, of course. A big returning character is another highlight for sure – you know who I’m talking about and he does elevate both the action and the cast. The plot also is a mixed bag, starting off a bit slow but speeding off to its conclusion at the end, I can understand how the film could be classed as ‘rushed’, especially in the final third. That being said, some action scenes are pretty great with one on particular involving a prominent league member standing out.
But yeah without having to say too much, the film is okay and that’s probably my biggest criticism of it, it’s not a mind blowing coming together of your favourite DC characters but it’s not as bad as say Suicide Squad or BVS, it’s a definite step in the right direction but things like better character development, stronger villains and a better put together plot would definitely have helped it a bit more.
. Great character interactions and it’s great to see the league together
. Good performances overall
. Generic CG villain, stakes don’t feel too high
. The return of a prominent character could have been handled a bit better